Peru: Right-wing offensive hits radical wing of Pedro Castillo’s government

from Lima

Before serving a month in office, the president Pedro Castillo, whose electoral victory is considered historic, faces coup plots to remove him from power. the offensive against him targets the leftmost sector of the government. It is the flank against which it is thrown to weaken the recently launched progressive regime of the rural teacher who came to the presidency, collecting the demands for change and demands from the excluded sectors. It seeks to divide the government between supposed radicals and moderates, in order to corner it. With these attacks, some would try to push Castillo to the center, but the objective of the right wing leading this offensive is to push him away.

The elites do not accept as president this professor of Andean origin who wants to change the neoliberal model and the deep inequalities. What the right fears most is that the Castillo government will succeed, because that would mean that the changes they want to avoid are consolidated. The right-wing controlled Congress, which with two-thirds of the votes can unseat the head of state by appealing to the figure of “moral incapacity” without having to prove anything irregular, is a key space in the destabilizing conspiracy. The media function as enthusiastic accomplices to obstructionism and the parliamentary coup.

Cerrón and Bellido

The right shoots relentlessly at ministers, congressmen and ruling party leaders. The favorite targets of these attacks are the secretary general of the ruling Peru Libre party, Vladimir Cerron, and the deputy and head of ministerial cabinet, Guido Bellido, considered, respectively, the head and a leading figure of the so-called “radical sector” of the regime. They aim at them, but the ultimate goal is to take down Castillo. In addition to political and media attacks, a judicial offensive against him is added.

This week, the prosecution opened a terrorism investigation against Bellido and Cerrón based on the testimony of a person who claims to have seen them some time ago in the mountainous region of Vraem to allegedly meet with the heads of the last remaining column of what was Shining Path, Maoist armed group defeated over twenty years ago. A column that years ago moved away from the original trekking and became an armed group allied with drug trafficking that controls that remote coca-growing region. Two congressmen from the ruling party – one of them Cerrón’s brother Waldemar, spokesman for the ruling party– are also included in this survey. This solitary testimony is all the prosecution has. who are looking for other evidence, but the right has already condemned them as terrorists. Bellido is also being investigated in another prosecution for terrorism excuses for not describing Sendero as a terrorist in an interview given months ago, and for praising a Shining Path woman killed in combat nearly 40 years ago. An accusation that is a persecution for opinion. Accusing everyone on the left of terrorism is a common nefarious practice on the Peruvian right.

There is another tax investigation, which also includes Bellido and Cerrón, pora collection of bribes in the regional government of Junín, the Andean region of which Cerrón was governor, and the alleged use of that money to finance the Peru Libre party, a hypothesis by the Public Ministry under investigation, but which the opposition and the media accept as a sentence . Cerrón has, in another case, a three-year suspended prison sentence for corruption. This questioned background of the most important leader of the ruling party offers the government’s opponents weapons to attack the regime.

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Bejar

The offensive against the more leftist sector of the government includes Chancellor Héctor Béjar, a guerrilla fighter from the 1960s and now a respected 85-year-old intellectual. Fujimorism submitted a request to Congress to interrogate him, with the intention of censoring him and thus compelling him to resign. McCarthyist hysteria does not confirm that a former guerrilla with a long left militancy is a minister. They accuse him of being a terrorist because he was a guerrilla. They demonize him for having marked his distance from Grupo Lima and by the possibility of Peru leaving that corpse unburied that was a great failure, something that was disclosed in unofficial versions, but which has not been confirmed. Revealing his aversion to regional integration, he is also questioned whether he supports the reflux of Unasur.

In dialogue with page 12, the congresswoman Sigrid Bazan, from Juntos por el Perú, a progressive coalition allied with the government, considered part of the moderate sector, points out that the attacks by the right against the so-called radical sector of the regime “are in the logic of weakening and destabilizing the President.” “They seek all flanks and there they found one. With the power and media spaces it has, the right insists on the differences that may exist, as they exist in all parties, to seek to dismantle and divide the government bloc. The spirit of all of us who are from different sectors of the left trying to build for governance is that these attacks do not affect us, that we resolve our differences internally, without disturbing the articulation processes. We have differences, but I would not speak of differences between moderates and radicals, but of different perspectives on common points. I bet these attacks will strengthen us and unite us even more in our coincidences,” says the legislator, one of the young new figures on the left.

Fujimoristas

The right-wing opposition, led by Fujimori, has already launched its destabilizing strategy in Congress. The ministers are settling into their positions and have already announced that they will be called to explain their administration, which has only days, and demand resignations. A parliamentary commission was formed to investigate these early days of the Castillo government, something never seen before, and another investigative commission on the elections, insisting on the false report of an electoral fraud that never existed and that the law invented to try to prevent Castillo’s triumph. They were not successful, but now they intend to question the congressional electoral process to delegitimize the Castillo government.

“I have no doubt that There are sectors that will not abandon the intention of removing a democratically elected president to put in whoever they want. No doubt there is action in Congress to try to unseat the president, but we can stop that attempt, for which we have a good source of support among citizens. Citizen pressure, and some means of communication that may still have a more objective space, are fundamental to preventing attempts to remove the president from office”, says Sigrid Bazán.

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